I often hear men who have been happily married for years say that when they met their spouse they just knew she was “the one.” For some it was her smile, for others her smell, and for others an intangible feeling of rightness, of being “home.”
For me, it wasn’t that Julie was the most beautiful woman I had ever known, or the richest, or that she was free of conflict and agreeable all the time. It was a certain indescribable quality; she was an outlier among all the women I had dated. She was just different, and it was that difference that ensured me that she was the one for me.
What we’ve found from decades of studying real-life couples in the lab is that if a person feels insecure or rejected while dating someone—she’s not the one. On the other hand, we’ve also learned that these seven signs are absolute proof that you’re the one for him (and vice versa).
1. He’s His Best Self With You
Sure, there’s conflict that you have to work through in every relationship, but when you’re with your person, you’ll feel more alive, joyful, and adventurous. If it’s not the right relationship there could be feelings of anger, helplessness, and you might not like yourself much when you’re together.
2. You Don’t Agree on Everything
One of the important myths to dispel is the belief that you’ll feel completely compatible in every way. For example, you’ll have the same hobbies, the same likes and dislikes, and the same politics. But our research suggests that compatibility of similar interests are mostly irrelevant. What’s more important is what it feels like when you’re together. You may both love to kayak, but if you’re arguing going down a river that common interest really doesn’t matter.
3. You Make Him Feel Wonderful
If he feels desired, attractive, funny, and all-around wonderful around you, then he’s probably considered that you could be the one. And the same goes for how he makes you feel about yourself. Remember this.
4. He Feels Safe
If he feels like he is home when he is with you—then you could be the one for him. When you’re with the right person, you feel comfortable and relaxed. If every time you’re together things are negative, that’s not a good sign.
5. Your Similarities Are Compatible
Chances are that you won’t be exactly alike, and this is a good thing. Men and women get to learn a lot from their differences. But there is one arena where compatibility is very important—feelings. How do you both relate to anger, sadness, fear, and joy? How do you express affection and love? If you have very different feelings about feelings, it can cause trouble.
6. He Doesn’t Mourn the Single Life
When he finds “the one,” he’s thankful for what she adds to his life. He shouldn’t compare his committed relationship with you to what he might be missing out on by being single.
7. You Agree on Children
The only other make-or-break issue in determining if you’re “the one” is the issue of children. Whether you both want them or neither of you do, agreeing on this important fact is key to settling down with the person meant for you.
This article originally appeared on Rodale Wellness
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